Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

30Nov

7 ways to be certain you don’t miss the point

Luke 7:37-39

By Tami Heim

Jesus commands His followers to love God and love people. Every connection He makes serves to emphasize this point. By invitation, He forgives, redeems, and introduces His Kingdom in real-time.

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.

~ Luke 7:36, NIV

Jesus loves and leverages the power of story. With them, He resets cultural boundaries, rocks the status quo, and accentuates a love beyond the law that few comprehend. Stories with unprecedented compassion and forgiveness relocate hearts to foreign and uncomfortable places. His holy agenda permeates what He says and all He does.


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28Nov

the gift of being called “a friend”

I call you, friend.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. – John 15:15, NKJV

By Tami Heim

Jesus called His followers friends long before it was culturally cool for you to call your online followers the same.  If you look to and learn from the Author and Finisher of your faith you’ll experience the breadth and depth of what it means to be called a friend. There is no better day than this one to fall in love again with the Giver of so great a gift.


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24Nov

Settle your soil this holiday season. Can your roots bear fruit?

parables of Jesus, Thanksgiving, Christmas stress, holiday stress, Christians online, scripture, holy spirit, sticky Jesus

" . . . Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Mark 4:8


By Toni Birdsong

So many people came to hear Jesus speak that day that he had to hop in a boat and paddle out on the water to address the crowd. They didn’t come to eat or socialize. In Mark 4 they, like so many people today, came looking for some way—some message—that might ease the incessant pang in their souls that everyday life had failed to ease.


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22Nov

10 godly ways to handle an online conflict

conflict online, christians online, blocking online, defriend

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:10

 

by Toni Birdsong
How do you adapt to a culture of substandard communication, express your intent in 140 characters, qualify, clarify, employ diplomacy, dodge bullets, and honor Christ every day in the online space? You don’t. Not with a 100% success rate that is.

Living out your faith on a digital stage is not for sissies. If you think about it, millions of people posting personal ideologies, opinions, beliefs and values to abbreviated channels such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, is kind of like an invitation to miscommunicate on a global scale.

You will make mistakes. You will step on landmines. You will have to put yourself back together again. But, you will survive.

10 ways to handle an online conflict:


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9Nov

10 surefire ways to gain traction online

 

Let's roll!

by Toni Birdsong
1. Determine who influences you. Influence is everything. Who you know matters in this world but as Christ followers we know “the” One connection that trumps them all—Jesus Christ. When you log on, you do so under the reputation and authority of The Most High God. Now that’s influence. [Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12].


2. Know why you are online. You aren’t online to stay in a fat, happy cocoon of fellowship. And you aren’t online just because everyone else is. You are online to transform the culture around you; to inject the cure (Jesus) into the cancer that has overwhelmed the human race (sin). Pray. Connect. Be engaged with those you meet. [Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38].

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4Nov

gifts of grace just for you

Draw near to the throne of grace.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:16, NIV

By Tami Heim

A culturally relevent image and a life-changing invitation occupy the text of a letter sent to Jewish believers. The author knows men and women ache to understand what will replace the life once governed by law, sacrifice, and tradition.

The answer arrives and it’s pure, simple, and amazing. The revelation transforms hearts and alters life ~ forever.

Jesus Christ.

Compassionate High Priest.

Rescues the lost. Mends what’s broken.

Redeems by grace.

Everything fits like new.

Beloved,  the message and the invitation remain the same.  Confidently drawn near. Listen carefully. Submit wholly. Receive fully. God’s mercy and grace are waiting at the throne for you!


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26Oct

So whose gospel are you really preaching?

Many of us are hunting mice while lions devour the land. ~Leonard Ravenhill

 

by Toni Birdsong
It may come as a shock to some Christians to discover that Jesus wasn’t (and isn’t) a registered Republican or even an Independent. He didn’t check the Caucasian box on the census. He wasn’t patriotic, didn’t crusade for baby seals, picket against poverty, or pin a colored ribbon to his chest. In fact, as perfect as he was, Jesus probably didn’t recycle (gasp!).

It isn’t that he didn’t care about these things. He just cared about heaven more.

Since redemption of sin is the only way to get there, redemption of sin is what He preached. Jesus came to rehabilitate and ready us for heaven. His allegiance, His crusade, and His colors were tethered to His hometown. If anyone looking on doubted that, the cross soon clarified His affiliations.


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19Oct

the possibility of living out your faith – simply

God loves. He gave. You believe. You live.

By Tami Heim

Do you ever get tangled up in online conversations that strive to clarify Truth? Every day waves of voices compete to rise above the noise. The sound jams the high-speed connections of your life with a constant buzz. Discernment can be challenging. You begin to wonder, “Has the truth always been this complicated? What happened to simply living out my faith?”

It’s unsettling to feel the push and pulls of religious debates as they bump and bruise the essence of what you believe. In every network stream, someone is serving up theology by way of numbered lists, strict guidelines, ordered facts, or linked references. All of them are well intended and created to help you, and the rest of us, get it right.


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14Oct

Are you living in a holy huddle online?

reaching out online, reaching non-Christians, Christianese, evangelism, online evangelism, outreach, Facebook, Twitter

By Toni Birdsong
It feels good to be with friends. We feel loved around people who affirm and encourage us. And, we feel safe—even empowered—when we strike the sweet, unmistakable note of common ground. For Christians, fellowship in the body of Christ can be one of the purest, most powerful forces we experience here on earth.

But what happens when we spend all of our time with people just like us when we log online? Blinders form. Exclusion creeps in. Well-worn digital paths emerge. Soon, we become blind to the brokeness and deaf to the need that pulsates around us.

As believers, we have three callings while we walk the earth:

  • To know God and enjoy His presence personally. Deut. 4:29-31
  • To worship God and grow within a body of believers. Phil. 2:1-4
  • To share God’s Truth and love with the people who still don’t know Him. Acts 1:8

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11Oct

Are you leading technology in your family or is it leading you?

family technology, internet safety, christians online, Jesus Christby Toni Birdsong
I never thought as deeply about King David until I became the mother of a teenager. As a parent raising kids in a wired world, I can relate to David—only the Goliath I’m looking at is technology. I’m not as seasoned or as certain as I thought I would be at this point in my parenting career. In fact, some days, it’s as if someone changed out the script I thought I had aced then pushed me out on to the stage to perform anyway.

I sometimes wonder: Am I really anointed? Can I really take this giant?


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